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Parents Vie For Coveted Kindergarten Slot At Newark's Ann Street School

NEWARK, N.J. (CBS 2) -- Parents camped out outside Newark's Ann Street School for next year's kindergarten enrollment, Jay Dow reports.

There were well over 100 people on line, cordial but keenly aware they were competing to enroll their children in what is perceived to be the best kindergarten program in the neighborhood.

"We slept here outside, in the rain, you know, in the fog, in the cold and the wind," said Helene Amurao, who was number 59.

These parents see the writing on the wall. The school proudly maintained its prized Blue Ribbon status for excellence every year since 1999.

"Our emblem means everything for us," said Linda Richardson, the school's principal.

However, she said it's unfortunate the competition has become an annual ritual.

"I think that's one of the most difficult tasks I have as a principal, is to tell a parent that we don't have room for them," she said.

Some 40 parents were placed on standby Wednesday.

Asked if he had a backup plan, resident Kevin Ortega said not really. "Not at this time. I gotta talk to my wife to see if we take him to a prep school or something."

The 85 parents who did make it cleared the first hurdle, but still have to get their paperwork cleared before their children are officially accepted into next year's class.

"Yes! I'm really happy!" resident Erika Lima exclaimed.

There's still hope for standby families to get on the list.

School officials said aside from families with incomplete paperwork, it's likely other applicants will move away over the next few months.

Is this kindergarten program as good as the parents say? Leave a comment below…

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